In what has become an annual ritual, in January members of Institutional Investor’s editorial team made a trip across the Hudson to CNBC’s world headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, to meet with our counterparts at the cable financial news giant. The topic that day was Delivering Alpha, an investment conference we cohost in July that brings together many of the world’s top asset managers and investors to discuss key financial issues.

 
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Our goal each year is simple: We want to put together an agenda that surpasses the previous year’s — no easy task when your lineup includes more than a dozen of the biggest hedge fund managers in the business. Our partners at CNBC, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, came up with a novel idea for Delivering Alpha 2014: Profile five hedge fund managers who are likely to deliver market-beating returns over the next 25 years. They left it to us to do the research and pick them.

Clearly, our task was ambitious, but we think we’ve found five managers with the investment smarts, business acumen and drive to succeed for a very long time. Three of the managers — Joshua Birnbaum of Tilden Park Capital Management, Deepak Gulati of Argentière Capital and Jeffrey Smith of Starboard Value — will be participating in a best ideas panel at Delivering Alpha on July 16 at New York’s Pierre Hotel. Don’t miss it.